Life and Style Shaken, not stirred: a pre-dinner martini

The aperitif is back, the aperitif is in. At Simon Rogan's joint in the Midland Hotel, Manchester, a guy in a bomber jacket breaks off a conversation with his date, "I'll have Just a Splash – that cocktail with Aperol and Prosecco," he says to the barman.

Immigrants who cannot speak English have no way of being a 'full member' of British society, Eric Pickles said

Non-English speakers may lose benefits, says Eric Pickles

Immigrants who cannot speak English have no way of being a “full member” of British society, Eric Pickles said on Sunday, amid suggestions benefits could be stripped from those who do not learn the language.

Book review: "Entry Island" by Peter May

Author Peter May is masterful at making a little go a long way. His acclaimed Lewis trilogy spun three tales of murder and mystery from the unpromising prospects afforded by the Outer Hebrides. In Entry Island, May once again mines this rich Hebridean seam for nuggets; the only difference being that the crime is in the distant past, during the notorious clearances in which profit-hungry landlords brutally removed settled communities from their estates in the Highlands and Islands to replace them with sheep.

Romanians landing at Luton Airport were surprised to be greeted by Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz. However, many Britons have been heading out in the opposite direction.

As EU work restrictions are lifted for Romanian and Bulgarian migrants, the influx has begun... of Britons heading for Bucharest

Many Romanians were put off moving to the UK because of its increasingly racist rhetoric

Saudi royal may face execution for murder

A Saudi prince who murdered a fellow Saudi may be executed, a newspaper reported on Sunday, in a rare example of a member of the kingdom’s ruling family facing the death penalty.

Sir Michael Wilshaw said luck governs pupils’ fortunes

All seven and 14-year-olds must take exams, says Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw

Sir Michael calls for tests abolished almost a decade ago to be reinstated amid concerns over standards in maths and English

Manorfield Primary School went from an ‘inadequate’ rating to ‘outstanding’ in one year, one of the quickest turnarounds ever seen by inspectors

From fail to world’s best: A lesson from the East End

What can we learn from the remarkable 15-year turnaround at Tower Hamlets’ schools?

Why yous are less and less likely to be having a barm for your tea: The Southern way of speaking is spreading say researchers...

Study into 'Language Variation and Change' conducted by the University of Manchester reveals spread of Southern words

King Philippe ascended to the throne in July 2013 after his father abdicated for health reasons

King of Belgium has used powers to pardon 11 people for driving offences in just five months

The King has been forced to apologise following the revelation which came a day before huge a 130 car pile up in the country

Domino's delivery man quits after workers told to only speak English

A man has left his job with Domino's over what he described as an “offensive” sign prohibiting staff from using any language other than English in the workplace.

Roberto Soldado has scored three goals in his first two matches for Tottenham

Roberto Soldado admits disappointment with form since £26m switch to Tottenham

The striker has failed to sparkle after a promising start at White Hart Lane

'Selfie' beats 'twerk' to be named word of 2013 by Oxford Dictionaries

'Selfie' beat 'twerk' and 'binge-watch' to be chosen as the word of the year

Robson Green in ITV's Tales From Northumberland

TV review: Tales from Northumberland with Robson Green, ITV

“Everything that makes Britain great can be found right here in Northumberland,” announced Robson Green at the start of his new ITV series, Tales from Northumberland. It was a bold claim – do they even have a Nando's? – but this proud son of Hexham is so enthusiastic about the land that stretches from north of Newcastle to the Scottish border that we should give him the chance to prove it. And while Robson takes an eight-week trip around his home county, his accent will apparently be roving the length and breadth of the nation. Last night it took in West Kensington and Tyneside, plus a brief stop in County Down.

The way schools are being ranked is to be scrapped by ministers

Controversial GCSE ranking system to be overhauled

Schools will be ranked on pupils' best eight GCSEs in future

Two e-fit images believed by detectives to be of the same man seen in Praia da Luz at the time of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance

Madeleine McCann search: Man pictured in two police e-fits 'was seen carrying child' on night Madeleine disappeared

More details emerge about the man police want to question ahead of tonight’s special episode of Crimewatch

Rachel Joyce

Matt Butler: The real-life adventures of alpha males – and females

View From The Sofa: Adventure Show, BBC Scotland / /Ironman, ironman.com

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
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Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own